Monthly Archives: June 2015

Limoncello Fish and Chips

CIbLXXpUEAAf8Sz

Adapted from a fabulous fish recipe  from British Chef Shaun Raking proves forever that homemade is always better. Chef Rankin uses lemonade in his batter, which may seem a bit odd at first but is actually an inspired choice as the bubbles give a beautiful lightness.
Given the seasonal products that I  can find at my  local supermarket, I am always willing to try new things. So, there was a carton of Limited Edition Limoncello Soda, sitting on the store shelf and  I decided to give it a try in this recipe, substituting for the lemonade found in Chef Rankin’s version. On it’s own, the Limoncello Soda was way too sweet for my taste, but it worked perfectly in the batter.

This dish is best served on a platter with plenty of tartar sauce for a summer get-together, or with your choice of sides for lunch.

Adapted from Chef Shaun Rankin
Great British Chefs, 2015

Serves 4

Ingredients:
For the Fish:
Canola oil, for deep frying
Eight 4-ounce cod fillets, skinned and cleaned
One 12-ounce bottle of Limoncello Soda
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons garlic powder
2 Tablespoons paprika
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
Salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste

For Serving:
1 lime, quartered
1 lemon, quartered
Tartar sauce
Waffles Fries

Directions:
Heat oil in a deep fryer to 365 degrees F (185 degrees C).
Preheat the deep fat fryer to  365°F  (180°C) . Alternatively, fill a deep saucepan with the canola  oil to halfway and, using a cooking thermometer, heat to 365°F  (180°C).
Rinse fish, pat dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the Limoncello Soda, flour, garlic powder, paprika, 2 teaspoons salt, and 2 teaspoons pepper, baking soda and baking powder to make the batter. A thin batter is formed. Set aside.

Dip each fish piece in the batter until completely covered. You should be able to see the fish through the batter after it has been dipped.

Carefully lower the fish into the deep-fat fryer or saucepan and cook for 4 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Deep-frying should not make food excessively greasy. The trick is to keep the oil hot enough and not leave the food in it for too long.Remove the fish  from the fryer using a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on paper towels. Lightly season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve with the lime  and lemon wedges and some dollops of tartar sauce and seasoned waffle fries.

10403253_871194732929679_7677653146448478162_n

Advertisements

Red Velvet Cookies

DSC08944

Make 3 Dozen Cookies

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup extra fine granulated sugar
1 egg
1 Tablespoon red food coloring
3 Tablespoons Hershey’s chocolate syrup
3/4 cup plain yogurt
2 cups all-purpose flour (See Cook’s Note)
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 Tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa powder
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup macadamia nuts

Directions:
Heat the oven to 375°F.

Line 3 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, add the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar. With the paddle attachment on, beat on low speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Add the egg, stir to combine. With a spatula, scrape the sides of the bowl.Add the food coloring, chocolate syrup and yogurt. Beat until blended. Scrape the sides of bowl if needed.

Gently stir in the flour, baking powder and cocoa. Stir the chocolate chips and macadamia nuts. Stir until just combined. Do not overmix.

With a medium ice-cream scoop, drop cookie dough onto the prepared sheets, about 2 inches apart.

Bake, one cookie sheet at a time, in preheated oven for 8-9 minutes or until the cookies slightly spring back when touched.

Cool on baking sheets for few minutes before moving to cooling racks. Let cool completely before serving.

Cook’s Note:
Spoon & Sweep method: Use a spoon to fill measuring cup with flour until required amount is obtained. Scooping measuring cup directly into flour bag will firmly pack flour resulting in too much flour required for recipe.

Green Pasta Dough

green pasta.jpg

Pasta Verde…..Beautifully-green, fresh spinach pasta. Making your own pasta is not difficult to make, nor does it take much time. This basic recipe can used for all types of  home pasta and can be used in countless dishes.

Ingredients:
For the Spinach:
3 quarts water
1 Tablespoon sea salt
1 cup packed, fresh spinach leaves

For the Pasta:
2 1/2 cups flour
3 Eggs
A pinch Salt
A pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Bench Flour, for dusting

Directions:
To prepare the spinach, remove the tough stems from the fresh spinach leaves, so they will not tear the pasta during rolling. Bring 3 quarts of salted water to a boil and set up an ice bath next to the stove.

spinach 2

 

blanch-palak2
Photo Credit: Ruchi’s Kitchen, 2015

 

 

Blanch the spinach leaves in the boiling water for 45 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon or and immediately plunge into the ice bath to cool.Once cool, using a strainer, squeeze out the excess water. Then place the spinach onto a kitchen towel and twist it to remove as much moisture as possible.

blanch-palak3
Photo Credit: Ruchi’s Kitchen, 2015

spinach

 

Place the flour, eggs, spinach, salt, and nutmeg in the bowl of the processor and pulse 15 times for 6 seconds at a time. The dough should be elastic and a little sticky.

Photo Credit: Birdworms and Buttermilk, 2010

Turn the dough out onto a lightly flour the countertop and continue kneading for about 10 minutes. Dust with a bit of flour, each time the dough sticks to your hands or the counter. Scrape the counter from time to time, just to make sure any dried bits aren’t being incorporated into the dough.

After kneading for about ten minutes, the dough should be smooth and soft and just a touch tacky, but it should no longer be sticking to your hands or the countertop.

Once ready, wrap it in plastic wrap and allow it to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature before rolling it out.The wrapped dough can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 day.

This dough can now be rolled into any pasta shape, whether it be lasagna noodles, pappardelle, fettuccine, or ravioli. The variations are endless.

Asparagus Ravioli in Parmesan Sauce

 

DSC00050

Do not let the title of this recipe fool you. This dish is really a soup that brings out the best flavors of a homemade stock. You can serve it as a light lunch or it  can start off your dinner menu as a first course.

Serves  4 to 6

Ingredients:
Green Pasta Dough (Click Here for the Recipe)

For the Broth:
1 pound  white asparagus, trimmed
5 cups rich chicken stock
One 3-inch rind from a wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
1 large bay leaf

For the Filling:
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
1/4 cup Mascarpone Cheese
1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, stems removed
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
A pinch of salt

Special Equipment:
A pasta machine

Directions:
Make broth and filling while dough stands, coming to room temperature.Cut off asparagus tips, then halve each tip lengthwise and reserve.

Bring stock, cheese rind and bay leaf to a simmer in a medium saucepan, then add asparagus stems and cook, uncovered, until stems are just tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer stems to paper towels and cool slightly. Reserve the broth and set aside.

To make the filling: Purée asparagus stems in a food processor with grated Parmesan, Mascarpone, bread crumbs, parsley, pine nuts, lemon zest, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Place the filling in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

To make the ravioli:Cut dough into 4 equal pieces. Cover 3 pieces with plastic wrap, then pat out remaining piece into a flat rectangle and generously dust with flour.

Set rollers of pasta machine on widest setting. Feed rectangle, a short side first, through rollers. Fold rectangle in thirds, like a letter, and feed it, a short side first, through rollers. Repeat 6 or 7 more times, folding dough in thirds and feeding it through rollers, a short side first each time, dusting with flour to prevent sticking.

spinach_fettucicne6

 

Turn dial to next (narrower) setting and feed dough through rollers without folding, a short side first. Continue to feed dough through without folding, making space between rollers narrower each time, until the second- or third-narrowest setting is used. Do not roll too thin or pasta will tear when filled.Mario Batali's Green Pasta Dough Recipe Text | Rouxbe Cooking School

Put the pasta sheet on a lightly floured kitchen towel (not terry cloth) with a long side nearest you. Drop 6 rounded teaspoon-size mounds of filling 10 inches apart in a row down center of right half of sheet. Brush pasta around mounds of filling lightly with water, then lift left half of sheet and drape over mounds.

filling2

 

Press down firmly but gently around each mound, forcing out air. (Air pockets increase the chance that ravioli will break during cooking.)  Using a pastry wheel or a sharp knife, or a cookie cutter, cut the pasta between mounds, roughly 2-inch squares. Line a large shallow baking pan with a lightly floured kitchen towel (not terry cloth), then arrange ravioli in 1 layer in it. Make more ravioli with remaining pieces of dough and remaining filling, transferring to lined pan.

DSC00019

 

To cook the ravioli and asparagus tips:Bring a pasta pot of salted water (2 tablespoons salt for 6 quarts water) to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to a gentle boil. Bring reserved broth to a simmer, then simmer asparagus tips, uncovered, until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Season broth with salt, then divide broth and asparagus tips among 6 shallow bowls, discarding cheese rind and bay leaf. Add half of ravioli to gently boiling water, carefully stirring to separate, and cook, adjusting heat to keep at a gentle boil, until pasta is just tender, 2 to 3 minutes.

DSC00040

 

 

Lift the cooked ravioli with a slotted spoon, draining well over pot, then transfer to  serving bowls  filled with  the broth. Repeat with remaining ravioli Garnish with shaved Parmesan-Reggiano cheese, if desired and serve immediately.

DSC00021

Cook’s Notes:
The filling and broth, without asparagus tips, can be made 1 day ahead. Chill separately, uncovered, until cool, then covered. Wonton wrappers can be used instead of fresh pasta, if time is of the essence.

Saveur Magazine’s 2015 Summer Produce Guide

Summer is a great time of year to be a cook. Markets and gardens are bursting with gorgeous fruits and vegetables in their prime: sweet corn, juicy ripe tomatoes, jewel-like berries, and many, many more. In our comprehensive guide to summer produce, we’ve got expert tips for buying, storing, and preparing the best of the season, plus recipes for everything from warm cherry and blueberry cobbler to watermelon salad with cilantro, radish sprouts, and Cotija cheese.

For the full  2015 Summer Produce Guide, click here for the link.

All photos: Vanessa Rees, Saveuer Magazine

Salad Greens

What would summer be without the sweet crunch of lettuces and salad greens? An essential addition to tacos and sandwiches and the foundation of salads from Caesar to Cobb, the innumerable varieties of lettuce lend crispness to all kinds of summer dishes. They vary widely in flavor and texture: Iceberg lettuce, for example, has a sweet, watery crunch that’s at home in a wedge salad with blue cheese; crisp romaine is ideal for adding to sandwiches; watercress has a bright, peppery flavor; and mizuna, a Japanese member of the mustard family, has a gentle spicy zing.

Stone Fruits

Available in the U.S. from late May to early October, peaches, plums, apricots, and nectarines are among the most delectable of summer’s stone fruits, so-called because they contain a stone, or pit, at the center that encases the seed. We love to eat them out of hand, of course, but they’re also delightful in an abundance of sweet and savory recipes: think green bean and peach salad, nectarine and plum chicken tagine, stone fruit rosé sangria, and irresistible pies and cobblers.

Herbs

Herbs

While many are available year-round from the grocery store, summer brings abundant fresh herbs that thrive in hot weather, such as basil, rosemary, and thyme, to the farmers’ market. You can use fresh herbs in innumerable ways for every type of dish: Add them to marinades, throw them into salads, purée them into pesto and toss with pasta or vegetables, and use them to infuse oils or even flavor ice creams.

Braised Chicken with a Cherry, Red Grape and Pomegranate Sauce

DSC09092

Serves 2

Ingredients:
4 chicken thighs
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup white wine
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups fresh bing cherries, pitted
1  cup red seedless grapes
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
Parsley Sprigs, for garnish
Lemon Slices, for garnish

Directions:
Heat butter and olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken all over with salt and pepper. When oil is shimmering, add chicken and cook until bottom is browned and lifts easily from pan, 3 to 4 minutes.

Flip and cook until second side is browned, 3 to 4 minutes more. Remove chicken and set aside. Discard fat from the pan. Add the onion and garlic to pan and cook over medium heat until onions are soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add white wine and chicken broth and scrape up brown bits from bottom of pan.

Return chicken to pan, increase heat and bring to a boil over high heat. Then cover and reduce heat to medium low. Braise, covered, until chicken is cooked through and pulling away from bone, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. Reserving the liquid in pan, pour into a heatproof cup and cover with foil to keep warm, and set aside. Raise heat to medium high. Add the cherries, red grapes, and pomegranate juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce heat to medium and cook for about to 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed. Return chicken to pan and cook for another 2 minutes.

Divide chicken, and braising liquid evenly between two pasta bowls. Garnish with lemon slices and parsley sprigs and serve.

Lime and Coconut Cooler

“You put the lime in the coconut, you drink ’em both together
Put the lime in the coconut, then you feel better
Put the lime in the coconut, drink ’em both up”

DSC08934

You can find the inspiration for food and drink from just about anywhere, especially if you are foodie.

Photo Credit: RCA Victor, and Acy Lehman and Dean Torrence, 1971

This drink may not be original, but I was inspired by “Coconut” which I just recently heard on the radio the other day.It is rarely played on commercial radio these days and hearing it brought back fond memories of my childhood.”Coconut” is a novelty song written and first recorded by Harry Nilsson in 1971 and released on his album “Nilsson Schmilsson” in 1972.

The song was also used as jingle for the 1970s “uncola” ad campaign for 7-Up featuring the late Geoffrey Holder, with his “hearty laugh” and memorable heavily accented bass voice, made it one of the most successful ad campaigns of all time. He  was the pitchman for 7-Up right through the mid 1980s, with the  “crisp and clean, and no caffeine” and “never had it, never will” advertising campaigns. Holder reprised his role as the 7 Up Spokesman in the 2011 season finale of The Celebrity Apprentice, where he appeared as himself in a commercial for “7 Up Retro” for Marlee Matlin‘s team.

Those were the days………………..1970s………………….

Serves 4

Ingredients:
One 14- ounce can coconut  milk with the cream
1 cup filtered water
Juice of 2 fresh limes
3 Tablespoons honey (or agave), or to taste
Ice, for serving
Whole fresh mint leaves, for garnish
Lime slice, for garnish

Directions:
Add all ingredients to a large pitcher and stir.  Serve in glasses over ice. Garnish with mint leaves and a slice of lime.

Ahhhhh, so refreshing! Enjoy!

Spiral Carrot Noodle Salad with Ginger Lime Peanut Dressing

DSC08799

Spring time brings and abundance of fresh produce in the local supermarkets and farmer’s markets .
I am always looking for meals that take less cooking in the kitchen, and mostly raw if possible.Such is the case with spring vegetables, which are perfect for leaving raw, keeping the nutritional value intact.

Using a spiral vegetable slicer. It gives good noodle.This handy little gadget is  much easier to use than a mandoline or vegetable peeler. You can purchase a GEFU SpirelliSpiral Slicer or a Paderno World Cuisine Spiralizer, which is another incredible kitchen gadget perfect for  spiralizing all sorts of hearty  vegetables like sweet potatoes, beets and butternut squash into noodles.

But if  you don’t have a spiral slicer, you can simply grate the carrots with a box grater to make this recipe.

You can even spiral carrots. Carrots remotely taste like pasta, but as a vegetable, it can offer a vegetarian,  paleo option for those looking for something off the beaten path.The carrot noodles are crisp and fresh and the ginger-lime peanut sauce makes your taste buds  spin. And the bonus is  that recipe is ever so simple and requires zero cooking, because let’s face it, who wants to spend time over a hot stove during this time of year. Also, this is  the perfect dish for “Meatless Mondays”.

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:
For the Carrot Pasta:
5 large carrots, peeled and spiraled into noodles
1/3 cup roasted cashews or peanuts
2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped

For the Ginger-Lime Peanut Sauce:
2 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter
4 Tablespoons coconut milk
A pinch cayenne pepper
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 Tablespoon lime juice
Kosher salt,  to taste
Sliced scallions, for garnish

Directions:
To Prepare the Ginger-Lime Peanut Sauce:
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix together until smooth and
creamy.

To Prepare the Carrot Pasta:
Wash carrots well, peel them, and pat them dry.Using your spiral slicer, make noodles out of all of the carrots. It will be more difficult to make the noodles once there is only a few inches of carrot left, so you can grate what’s left of the carrot.

To serve, place the carrot noodles into a large serving bowl. Pour the Ginger-Lime Sauce over the noodles and gently toss together. Garnish with roasted cashews or peanuts, scallions and freshly chopped cilantro.

DSC08800

Fried Chicken Liver Salad with Bacon and Ranch Dressing

DSC09901

 

This carnivore’s salad is filled with bold ingredients like bacon, dandelion greens, celery leaves and pickled onion, but the star ingredient are the chicken livers.

Serves 6

Ingredients:
For the Pickled Red Onion:
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons sugar

For the Ranch Dressing:

1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 1/4 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon snipped chives
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the Salad:
6 slices of thick-cut applewood-smoked bacon
3 cups self-rising flour
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
2 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound chicken livers, trimmed and rinsed
2 1/2 cups buttermilk
Vegetable oil, for frying
3/4 pound heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup whole flat-leaf parsley leaves
4 tender celery ribs, thinly sliced on the bias, leaves reserved
1 small bunch dandelions greens

Directions:
Put the sliced red onion in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the red wine vinegar with the sugar over moderately high heat until just beginning to simmer and the sugar is dissolved. Pour the hot vinegar over the sliced red onion and let stand for 30 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 1/2 teaspoons of the onion pickling liquid.

In a medium bowl, whisk all of the ingredients together and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate.

In a large skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat until crisp, about 10 minutes; drain on paper towels. Cut each piece of bacon in half.

In a large bowl, mix the flour with the garlic powder, cayenne, onion powder, smoked paprika, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.

In a medium bowl, soak the chicken livers in 1 cup of the buttermilk for 10 minutes, then drain. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk to the bowl. Dredge the chicken livers in the seasoned flour until coated, then re-dip the chicken livers in the buttermilk and dredge again in the flour to double-coat.

In a large, deep skillet, heat 1/2 inch of vegetable oil to 325°F.  Fry the livers until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Drain the chicken livers on paper towels and immediately season with salt.

In a bowl, toss the tomatoes, parsley and celery ribs and leaves. Add the pickled onion and the reserved 1 1/2 teaspoons of pickling liquid. Place the greens on a serving plate. Spoon the ranch dressing onto of the greens. Top with the tomato salad, chicken livers and bacon and serve at once.

DSC09896

Product Review: Cookies from Sarabeth’s Kitchen

Hello Cookie Lovers!

I think I just found the best tasting cookies in the whole wide world! I cannot pick just one, I love them all.

They are cookies from  Sarabeth’s Kitchen, located in The Bronx, NY.
Sarabeth Levine
And yes, there really is a  Sarabeth. Sarabeth Levine, an award-winning jam maker, acclaimed pastry chef and restaurateur, who is the driving force behind the success and outstanding reputation of the Sarabeth brand. Sarabeth’s personal search for perfection extends to everything she creates.

In 1981, Sarabeth began making Orange-Apricot Marmalade from her home kitchen from a 200 year old family recipe and selling it to local food shops. From that humble beginning, Sarabeth with her husband and business partner, Bill Levine, now own and operate a jam factory, a wholesale-retail bakery café and nine restaurants. It is a true American success story.

But back to the cookies!

The come perfectly wrapped and freshly baked. I could actually smell them through the box when the FedEx Delievery Person dropped them off. I could not wait to open the box!

I ordered the Mixed Cookie Box…….And look at what was inside.

DSC09119 (2) 

       DSC09121 (2)   DSC09124    DSC09125 (2)

DSC09858

Sarabeth’s quest is to provide every customer with an experience that reflects her devotion and passion to creating wholesome food. The mission of Sarabeth’s is to offer simplicity, perfection and classic tastes in her restaurants and through her products. And yes, these cookies do deliver. With a richness and homemade perfection that you thought your mother or grandmother could bake with so much love.

These cookies are worth every penny, trust me!

 

Just so you know in advance……..

These cookies are baked on demand.

Bakery items are shipped Monday through Wednesday only. Unless Overnight or Saturday Delivery is selected. Saturday is NOT a business day

There is also a special shipping notice for all baked goods. In order to ensure maximum freshness, baked goods must be shipped via Federal Express 2nd dayservice unless they are being sent to one of the following regions:

VA, CT, MD, ME, VT, NH, RI, MA, NY, NJ, PA, DE, OH, WV, NC, SC, MI, IN, KY, TN, northern IL and northern GA.

If you are in one of the listed states, you may safely ship via UPS Ground for a significantly reduced rate. Otherwise, please select one of the Federal Express shipping options when you check out.

And just in time for Father’s Day, Sarabeth’s is offering 15% off of all cookies! Use the code “DAD15”.

Not just a gift for Father’s and Dad’s on their special day, but you can also treat yourself to a box of cookies too!

Happy Father's Day!

 Here are just a few of the cookies that are offered from the bakery at Sarabeth’s Kitchen. Just click on the name of the cookie and you will be directed to the site!

Chocolate Chubbies

chubbies  It’s not a brownie. It’s not a cookie. It’s a Chubbie. Three types of chocolate and two types of nuts (walnuts and pecans). These are chocolate nut heaven.

Mixed Cookie Box

mixed
These delectable cookies are the favorites of Sarabeth’s cookie craving multitudes. Baked fresh daily to order, they come packaged in a white bakery box, festooned with a bright ribbon and Sarabeth logo sticker. You cannot go wrong bringing this gift to a friend, unless you eat them all before it gets there. You get 6 Chocolate Chip Cookies, 8 Chocolate Chubbies and 6 Chocolate Chip Clouds.

Cookies in a Jar

jars

Sarabeth’s hand-made, all-natural, selection of 4 popular cookies come packaged in a reusable food-grade plastic jar. Chocolate Chip, Classic Shortbread, Chocolate Shortbread and Oatmeal Raisin.

Use the empty jars for storage of cereal, sugar, candy, leftovers, nuts (and even bolts!) or other assorted hardware! Baked to order.